Azure Management services: what's new in December 2020

In December several news regarding Azure management services were announced by Microsoft. Our community releases this monthly summary that gives you a comprehensive overview of the main news of the month, in order to stay up to date on these news and have the necessary references to conduct further study.

The following diagram shows the different areas related to management, which are covered in this series of articles, in order to stay up to date on these topics and to better deploy and maintain applications and resources.

Figure 1 – Management services in Azure overview


Azure Monitor

New Azure Monitor agent and new Data Collection Rules features(preview)

Azure Monitor introduces (in preview) a new unified agent (Azure Monitor Agent – AMA) and a new concept to make data collection more efficient (Data Collection Rules – DCR).

Among the various key features added in this new agent we find:

  • Support for Azure Arc server(Windows and Linux) 
  • Virtual Machine Scale Set support (VMSS)
  • Installation via ARM template

With regard to the Data Collection, these innovations have been made:

  • Better control in defining the scope of data collection (e.g.. ability to collect from a subset of VMs for a single workspace)
  • Single collection and sending to both Log Analytics and Azure Monitor Metrics
  • Send to multiple workspaces (multi-homing for Linux)
  • Ability to better filter Windows events
  • Better extension management

Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop (preview)

Azure Monitor now allows you to perform the following operations related to Windows Virtual Desktop environments:

  • View a summary of the status and health of host pools
  • Find and resolve any deployment issues
  • Evaluate resource usage and make decisions about scalability and cost management
  • Understanding and addressing user feedback

Azure Monitor for containers: tab reports and deployment logs

In Azure Monitor for containers a new tab has been made available Reports that gives customers complete access to all advanced monitoring workbooks for Kubernetes, for example: Node-disk, Node-network, workloads and Persistent Volume monitoring.

Furthermore, you can now view real-time logs of Azure Kubernetes Service deployments (AKS), accessing the live logs of the pods directly. Log Analytics will allow you to search by applying filters to view historical pod deployment logs, useful for diagnosing any issues.

Azure Monitor for containers: support for Private Cluster live logs (preview)

In Azure Monitor for containers support for private cluster live logs has been introduced, this allows you to view in real time container logs, pod events and metrics. For more details please visit the Microsoft-specific documentation.

Infrastructure Encryption for Azure Monitor data 

Starting from 1 November 2020 data that flows into Azure Monitor is encrypted twice: at the service level and now also at the infrastructure level, thanks to the double encryption available for Azure storage.


Azure Automation

Support for Azure Private Link available

Microsoft has introduced support forAzure Private Link, necessary to securely connect virtual networks to Azure Automation through the use of private endpoints. This feature is useful for:

  • Establish a private connection with Azure Automation, without opening access from the public network.
  • Ensure that Azure Automation data is accessible only through authorized private networks.
  • Protect yourself from data extraction by allowing granular access to specific resources.
  • Keep all traffic within the Microsoft Azure backbone network.

Availability in new regions

Azure Automation is now available in the “Norway East” and “Germany West Central”. To check the availability of the service in all the Azure regions you can consult this document.

Support for Python3 runbooks (preview)

In Azure Automation, you can now import, create and run runbooks Python 3 in Azure or in a Hybrid Runbook Worker.

Evaluation of Azure

To test for free and evaluate the services provided by Azure you can access this page.

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